Candy Crush Saga
I made a vow that I’d never play this game. I don’t even like most candy, especially now that I’m watching my weight. Yet, mostly everyone I know on Facebook is playing that blasted game as if their life depended on it. What is the appeal? It’s just a match-three game like “Bejeweled”, and there’s absolutely no shortage of match-three games on the market. If you were to look up “overkill” or “redundant” in the dictionary, you should find the words, “see match-three” right after the definition. As a games journalist, I had to know why this game was all the rave…it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. *Grumble* *Expletive* “Candy Crush Saga” *Incomprehensible Muttering*
When I booted up “Candy Crush Saga” on my Android for the first time, I immediately wanted to hurl. Someone may want to contact the clean-up crew, because I’m pretty sure someone vomited rainbows all over the menu screen. It’s almost as if someone had strapped the Care Bears to a roller coaster after they had fallen off the wagon and topped off their drunken stupor with a trip to Taco Bell. I had the option to connect with Facebook, but I had reservations about joining the Borg (watch your Star Trek, kids)…at least, I didn’t want others to know about it right away. I felt like I was going to get caught with my hand in the cookie jar, but as with all things you shouldn’t do, it’s just a matter of time before someone finds out about it.
The mechanics of “Candy Crush Saga” aren’t all that complicated. The game is broken up into levels, with each one getting progressively harder as you clear them. Each stage will task you with some type of objective, such as earning a certain number of points or clearing all of the jelly (don’t ask) from the level. In addition to your objective, you’ll want to earn as many points as possible in order to earn the maximum number of stars. Each star, like everything else on the blasted screen, is a different color…I get that the developers wanted to make the game colorful, but holy hell do my eyes hurt. I’ve never touched recreational drugs, but they should probably warn folks not to go on an acid trip while playing this game.
The “world screen” as I’ve dubbed it, allows you to navigate a track and visit all of the levels you’ve already completed. You’ll also see the number of lives you have in the upper left hand corner, in addition to a daily roulette wheel of sorts. If you fail to complete the level’s objective before you run out of moves, you’ll lose a life. Not to worry, your lives automatically regenerate over time…though if you run out, you’ll have to find something else to do (like go the *expletive* outside, etc.) for a while. The daily booster wheel will grant you a random bonus…nothing I haven’t seen before in these kinds of games. The world screen as a whole functions I suppose, but in no way would I call it a “saga”. A saga is typically a series of achievements made in history by a person or family…it goes without saying that I fail to see the epicness of matching three candy pieces together, nor would I consider that an achievement. I believe Kindergarten teachers call that, “color/shape recognition”.
When it came time to actually play, I had the resist the urge to vomit for a second time. I get that there should be a heavy emphasis on the candy business in “Candy Town”, but looking at all of these sharp and contrasting colors began giving me a headache. On the plus side, this game was turning out to be a great motivational tool in regards to not wanting to eat…well, anything. It would be ironic if I could claim that I owe my forty pounds of weight loss to a game that features copious amounts of unhealthy food.
My instructor, who I’ve dubbed as “Mr. Ugly Longface”, kept popping up to tell me how to put three colors in a row. Now I may be getting old, but I’m fairly certain that I shouldn’t be taking directions from a man who looked like he just off of the mothership. What the heck is going on with his hair? Does he actually pay his barber for that look, or does he simply just rub his face with a cheese grater to save money? Why is finger thicker than his arm and more importantly, why the monocle? I’m fairly certain that the candy is bright enough already to make out their colors. I suppose it may exist to compliment the top hat, though considering the relative size of the thing, he may want to invest in corrective lenses that…I don’t know…WORK!
During a level, you’ll be allowed to use boosters, if you’ve managed to collect any AND only if you’ve first unlocked them. I think this is where the addiction lies, at least it would for me. There’s a certain satisfaction in unlocking new toys to play with in games like this, and the game doesn’t hold back in telling you that you’re a noob right from the start. Level one might be easy as pie, but those boosters that you want to use? Nope, sorry…you’ll have to play more to unlock them. With that being said…you’re still unlocking candy. CANDY! C! A! N! D! Y! WHY? Because… *expletive* “Candy Crush Saga”!
From an experienced gamer’s standpoint, there’s not much here that hasn’t already been done before. Matching four or more colors (or candies) and the like will avail you a special candy (sarcastic woooo!) which has special effects…if you think this is innovative, go play “Puzzle Quest” and let me know if you still think that “Candy Crush Saga” is the best thing since Pepto Bismol. There’s really not enough here to get me to make return visits, though it does have an appeal in the sense that I can play a level for two minutes and quickly turn it back off…and by turn it off I mean vomit into a toilet.
I don’t honestly understand why this game has as many downloads as it does…there are so many match-three games already out there that are much more entertaining. Perhaps the secret lies in its simplicity, which would explain why the “Bejeweled” franchise did so well. I’m sure the fact that the game is free also has something to do with it, though you can purchase in-game boosters and the like with real money…blech! I can see where the game would appeal to the casual crowd, but don’t expect anything in-depth or new that would blow you off your feet. At best, this game gave me a tummy-ache, but does just enough to satisfy my gaming itch when I feel the need to play something mind-numbingly mundane. The fact that I’ve lost ten pounds from all of the excessive vomiting during my review session is just icing on the proverbial cake.
Final Verdict: 5/10